27Sparks

Tractor rollover protection program begins in Minnesota

Minnesota farmers now have an easier way to get tractor safety equipment thanks to a new program that will improve farm safety. The ROPS Rebate Program administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), reimburses farmers and schools at least 70 percent of the cost of purchasing, shipping, and installing a rollover protection kit—a roll bar and seatbelt—limiting applicants’ cost per tractor to no more than $500. It also provides help to farmers with identifying and pricing the appropriate rollover kits for their tractors.

Agriculture bills that did not pass

Urban agriculture funding Urban agricultural efforts, such as urban farms and community gardens, have become increasingly popular in the state over the last several years. These developments are positive, advocates say, because they improve consumer access to fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables, keep food production local, and address increased obesity and poor health in […] Read more

Department of Agriculture Policy Bill

The Department of Agriculture Policy bill passed off of the floor and includes the following policy provisions: Organic Advisory Task Force: This extends the sunset date until June 30, 2019 for the state’s Organic Advisory Task Force, which advises the Commissioner of Agriculture and the University of Minnesota on policies and programs pertaining to organic […] Read more

Solar site volunteer management practices establishment 

The growth of the solar power industry is an opportunity to utilize solar sites to create bird- and pollinator-friendly habitats. This provision encourages these opportunities through the establishment of voluntary solar site management practices in Minnesota. The site management practices include: 1) providing native perennial vegetation and foraging habitat beneficial to game birds, songbirds, and […] Read more

Buffer law revisions

Buffers, which are strips of vegetation that run along rivers, streams, and ditches, are a tool to protect water from erosion and runoff pollution. Many small, problematic spots along a river can affect water quality in a large way. Just as there is no one single problem area for water quality, there is no single […] Read more

Agriculture budget

The final supplemental finance bill included several agriculture provisions, representing a combination of House and Senate priorities. Tractor Rollover Protection Program: The Star Tribune published a series last year describing the serious issues facing the state with farm equipment safety and training. As described in the series, tractor rollovers have been the top cause of […] Read more